If you have been following my posts on "Body Shaming", you will know that I have grown up facing the wrath of many, smirks of too many to remember and of course the kind words of a few... And well, over the years have grown to love myself, love my body the way it is, and enjoy life for what its worth...
I was on a recent holiday to USA, yes the infamous America and it was my 1st time there. I packed my bags, not a single salwar, indian outfit in it and was all set to have a blast. Did I?You betcha... I had the time of my life. So much so that I did not want to come back...
Here is what I experienced during my recent holiday...
It was only about 2years ago that I discovered the brands that made western wear for my size. I started trying out T shirts, capri, jeans and now have moved onto Skirts as well. And guess what, I love it. SO much so that today I barely have any Indian outfits in my cupboard, just that odd 2 salwar sets that I wear to pretty much every semi formal occasion. Otherwise it is the saree for weddings and occasions. rest of the time, I am in a t-shirt with 3/4th or if am heading out it is the same thing, or a skirt or jeans. Not only do I find these comfortable, I find that these are so much more suited on me. Another element that caught me by surprise is that people stare less when am in non Indian outfits.. Which makes me wonder if its the outfit or me in that outfit that makes them stare?!! What do you think?
Ok, ok, without digressing any more.. So for the US trip, I did quite a bit of shopping - picked up T-shirts, tops from Westside and Myntra, also picked up a pair of well fitted jeans from ALL and I was set. I had packed in a few extra printed pant and palazzos but did not wear them at all. :D I had also carried a pair of shorts, which I wore at night and well in the evening while in Vegas .. woohoo..
Every morning I would shower, slip into a T-shirt/top with a 3/4 or jeans and that was it. I was happy through the day. I would go about exploring the town, doing shopping with family, cooking at home etc etc and it was good to go till night time. One day we were headed to the beach when my cousin looked at my pants and said why don't you change into shorts or something more comfortable, we are headed to the beach only... need I say more, I went and changed into 3/4th and we were off.
In that country, I came across people of all sizes and shapes, be it on the streets or restaurants or the beach. Nobody gave them a second look, nobody pointed and stared at em. Well, am sure there are such incidents in many places but I dint encounter any. The same applied to me as well. I did not see a single person stare, point, giggle, chuckle or a child point to me and pull their mom's dress and point some more.. The minute you make eye contact with someone they smile and go their way, or ask how you were doing.
Stores, regular retail stores carry all sizes- even plus sizes. I was at the outlet mall,at Costco, at Target, Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's and everywhere I saw clothes across sizes. It was such joy being able to pick up a top or pair of shorts off the rack and know you can just go bill it, instead of worrying about the size, looking around for a staff to ask if they had a bigger size on it... I happily shopped around, bought myself T-shirts, tops, sleeveless tops, even two dresses [casual, but nonetheless] and a cardigan as well. :-)) Infact, I wish I had more space in my bag, might have shopped more.. haha.. look who's talking.
The ironic thing was that most of these clothes are made in India, except they are not sold here. Yep! you read it right.they are only for export purposes. A debate around this led to uncle asking me "how many big made people [women especially] in India actually pick up western wear. I argued that I knew atleast 10 of us who loved them and were constantly looking for them. His response was "10 is such a small number...".. But yes, I gotta agree that compared to a decade ago, today we had a lot more brands introducing plus size clothes, nearly every brand has a section for it and well the staff are polite and helpful, they don't smirk or just say "no, we don't have your size here".
Not only is it is fun to experiment with clothes, but it is good to have options, right?! Above it all, finding clothes your size gives you such a confidence boost.